Sunday, March 23, 2014

Everyone knows everything.

So this week was full of adventures and fun times.  The fun began on Tuesday.  While waiting for 3 hours on the highway for my new companion to arrive, I began to get a migraine and I actually vomited on the street.  I know that is not the most appetizing way to begin my weekly stories, but it actually ended up being really funny because in the Philippines, everyone knows everything about everyone.  That means that in a few hours all of the members and investigators in our area knew that I had vomited earlier on the highway.  In every home we entered this week, the first thing said was, "Sister Copeland, nagvomit ka ba sa highway?"
My new companion is awesome.  Sister Brewer is super tall and is from St. George, Utah.  We are loving working together and are really sticking out like sore thumbs here in Sanchez Mira.  It is hard to hide when you are American, but even harder to hide if there are two of you. 
The most interesting part of the week is when the Lord presented us the opportunity to share with a member of Iglesia ni Cristo, possibly the most anti-Mormon church in the Philippines.  As missionaries, we respect their beliefs and respect them as fellow Christians, but we do not seek them out and teach them.  This member seemed to find us as we arrived to teach some of our investigators.  We taught our investigators, but the member of INC raised many objections to our teachings.  We testified to Him of the truthfulness of our message and closed our lesson.  He left and as we were speaking with our investigators, they told us that they did not feel the same way they normally feel when we share with them.  They could not feel the Spirit, even though they did not realize that that was the missing ingredient.  I know our message is true and those we teach know it is true because the Lord testifies its truthfulness to them through the Holy Ghost. 
The work here has been going good.  We are really focusing on our investigators and finding those that the Lord has prepared for the gospel.  Walter is one of the individuals that the Lord has prepared to receive the gospel.  He is 23 and ready to follow the Lord.  He has struggles, especially with smoking and drinking, but he knows that he can overcome all of His struggles with the help of the Lord.  I hope that I will be here in Sanchez when he is baptized.  When we taught him this week, we discussed his lack of
progress.  We asked him what more we can do to help him overcome the challenges he is facing.  He said, "Sisters, I have the scriptures, I know the gospel and its standards, I know what the Spirit feels like, now it is up to me; this is my personal choice."  Walter was right and I know that he knows how to righteously exercise his freedom of choice.  When we understand the Spirit, use the scriptures, and follow the commandments, we have all the help we need to chose the right.  It really is all about our personal choice. 
Many unexpected things happen to us as missionaries each day.  A few days ago, an investigator called us out for not "being sincere."  We set him straight right away and explained how much we love all of the people we teach, how we pray for them many times each day, how we fast for them, how we cry for them, study the scriptures to find answers for them.  I am a sincere missionary.  I am here for eighteen months.  I love what I do and I love the people I serve.

Learn more about the standards we hold:

No comments:

Post a Comment